A Quick Introduction to Blogspeak

You know the feeling. You’re visiting a blog, you like the post, and you want to add something in the comments. You want to come across as hip and well-read, but also down-to-earth and folksy. What to do? Fortunately, a unique vernacular of blogspeak has developed, and you can pick from any number of time-tested comments. Here is an introduction to some of the classics of blogspeak, just to get you started:

— Write that some commentator “used to be reasonable, but now is just shrill.”
— Express mock surprise by saying, “I was shocked — shocked! — to discover….”
— Express amusement at a previous comment by informing others that you have just ruined your keyboard by shooting Diet Coke out your nose from laughing so riotously.
— Use “begs the question” incorrectly.
— Point out that another commenter has used “begs the question” incorrectly.
— Respond to an offensive comment by saying “Don’t feed the trolls.”
— To really get your point across, Punctuate. Like. This. (Especially “Best. ____. Ever.”)
— Indicate your full agreement with a prompt and elegant “Indeed.”
— Use exclamatory expressions people don’t often use in speech or non-internet writing, such as “Sheesh,” “Hee Hee,” “Heh, Heh,” or “HAHAHAAAHAA.”
— Use unusual synonyms for “controversy,” such as “brouhaha,” or “kerfuffle,” or “donnybrook.”
— Cleverly endear yourself by ending a strident comment with “I’m just sayin’…”
— Reveal your playfully lascivious side by writing “Mmmm, X” (where X is something a previous commenter said, taken out of context to sound suggestive).
— Indicate your cavalier attitude toward the rules of grammar by using expressions like, “I love me some ___.”
— Express disagreement or incredulity with a hearty “Hmm….” (Use of more than three periods in the ellipses emphasizes your point.)
— End your comment with a calm but emphatic “That is all.”

Do you have any to add?

(I should note that the above list was generated by observing blogs like Dooce, Crooked Timber, Atrios, Daily Kos and others. I certainly have never seen any hoary cliches used in the bloggernacle, and I certainly have never used them myself. That is all.)

16 comments for “A Quick Introduction to Blogspeak

  1. Ouch! I used “Hmmmm” and “begs the question” very recently (I’m not sure if I used the latter appropriately or not).

    I do like to use “Whoooowheeee!” in response to outlandish comments…

  2. I should be clear that no indictment was intended. Just a bit of laughing at ourselves. I’ve used at least half of these at some point or another.

  3. “Controversy,” “donnybrook,” and “brouhaha” work well in this blogging context. Oh my, especially “brouhaha.”

    Best. Controversy. Synonym. Ever.

    However, “kerfluffle” simply serves to make me hungry. It reminds me of those peanut-butter-and-marshmallow-fluff sandwiches that I could only enjoy at my friend Mike’s house, because my borderline-crunchy parents would not buy Fluff and made their own bread.

    Mmmm. Kerfluffle.

  4. Don’t forget the veritable alphabet soup of internet acronyms: LOL, FWIW, IIRC, ROFLMBO et al.

  5. I like the sound of “begs the question”, but perhaps “begets the question” is more appropriate. Of course this is entirely different from “baguettes the question”, which simply does not make any sense… Indeed.

  6. I just want to say that I only ever mention snorting Diet Coke all over myself/my keyboard when I *really* do. Honest. :)

  7. Reveal your playfully lascivious side by writing “Mmmm, X� (where X is something a previous commenter said, taken out of context to sound suggestive).

    What? Lascivious? Greg clearly has never seen the Simpsons.

    Just sayin’…

  8. A good link is worth a thousand words.

    For example, rather than point out that someone has erred in writing “Its glaringly obvious that you are an idiot,” you could just link here.

  9. I’m also rather fond of the sotto voce trailing comment indicated by a slash. It can be quite effective at conveying tone.

    /goes off to his pathetic life watching Carson Daly’s New Year’s Eve special

  10. Bryce, here’s another good it’s vs. its primer.

    If you watch the whole thing, then click on the illustration of the muscle-bound arm in the top left of the placard at the end, you’ll be treated to a number of other grammar treasures.

    Strongbad used to be reasonable…

  11. Bryce,

    Good point on the Homeric origins of “mmm…” but I contend we are witnessing a new strain of usage in the blogosphere.

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